Tourism in Bangladesh and Image Building Mechanism

by Priyo Australia | January 14, 2014 9:27 pm

Tourism is one of the most promising and progressive forms of thriving factor to build up the socio-economic status and the overall image of a country. As a citizen of Bangladesh and Australia I believe I owe it to both the countries to enhance a symbiotic relationship between the two countries. I always had the admiration and the passion to play a little role to investigate and facilitate how the beauty of our beloved country Bangladesh could be made attractive to the outside world, especially to Australia in a way that would build a positive image and a respectable portfolio for Bangladesh.

During the past one year, I have extensively tried to research and rationalise all the key factors, prospects and limitations of our tourism industry in comparison to our neighbouring countries like India, Nepal, Bhutan and the recently built democratic country of Myanmar. In this journey, I initiated a tourism venture called “Ausbangla Tourism Pty Ltd” and launched its website[1] as a small but important step towards a much bigger dream. With the kind consent of Bangladesh Tourism Board and Bangladesh High Commission, Australia, Ausbangla Tourism Pty Ltd successfully organised a “Bangladesh Tourism Night” in Sydney on 23rd November, 2013 to introduce Bangladesh with utmost dignity and respect to the Australian audience.

Recently, a comprehensive survey was published in Australia about the potential tourism hubs for Australians in the next 4 years. It was conclusively declared that their main preference for the countries of next travel destination were Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Cambodia in the South-East Asia region. Sadly, Bangladesh was not mentioned in that whole survey. There is no doubt that promoting Bangladesh against the other competitor countries will be a big challenge, but there are obvious reasons for us to go behind this important competitive race. Let me explain why.

There is no conclusive analysis that properly explains why Myanmar is the first choice for Australians for next potential tourism hot-spot. It is notable that Myanmar only became a democratic country in last 2 years and it lacks proper tourism infrastructures and tourism related facilities. Besides the natural scenic beauty the only other possible explanation is that the great leader of democracy Aung Sun Suu Kyi is an international hero who has uplifted the potential of her country and has won the heart of the people of the world, including the Australians. On the other hand, Bangladesh has built a lot of infrastructures including luxury hotels and tourism related facilities in different parts of the country. Also Bangladesh’s image to the world has been uplifted by wonderful achievers like Professor Yunus for winning the Novel Prize in recent the years. But that is clearly not enough to draw attention of the Australian tourists. Again, if we compare to Sri Lanka and Cambodia’s fragile socioeconomic structure and their political turbulence during last decade, it can easily be assumed that although both the countries had history of instability and overall uncertainty of travel safety, they have slowly overcome these hurdles and have become attractive places for tourists.

In reality, Bangladesh is suffering from a potential negative image in the view of the outside world. Of course we have some limitations in resources and environmental turmoil persists periodically. But looking at the positive side Bangladesh’s economy is thriving in the right direction with a 6.5% average growth and some sectors are doing extremely well like garments, disaster management mechanisms, microcredit economic system to alleviate poverty and women empowerment. Now is the time to ask ourselves why Bangladesh is missing out from the huge revenue earnings from the tourism sector from outside world and why we have failed to introduce our beautiful country in a positive, attractive and honourable way.

Undoubtedly, the political instability is hampering our image building process, and little has been done by our governments to promote the image of our country to prospective tourists. But, as Bangladeshis we all know there is a great potential to present the beauty of our beloved country and its big hearted citizens. Some strategic and practical measures need to be taken to build up Bangladesh’s image in positive way in the course of time. It is not easy ride but nobody has the luxury to sit idle and give up establishing this noble cause. It is a fact if we cannot build up our image positively to rest of the world; it would become progressively more difficult to build a sustainable, long term tourism sector in Bangladesh. The image lifting process is a huge task which cannot be done by a single person or a single organisation. It must be a sincere combination of dedication and tireless effort by the government and “public-private partnership (PPP)” procedures. It is the time to stand firm, show up some real courage and patriotism to build up an economic thriver, the Tourism of Bangladesh. In future, this will represent our identity, our culture and the destiny of many people who will be working directly or indirectly with the tourism industry.

Considering the geopolitical history of Australia, similarities in climate and historical assimilation factors, Australians are always eager to travel to South East Asian countries like India and so on. It is very much possible to encourage a portion of tourists to visit Bangladesh too. It is now the time to establish a real plan for strategic tourism manifesto and eventually appoint a tourism ambassador from respected Australian sports portfolio who can work alongside with a disciplined body of “Tourism Promotion Committee” based in Australia. This committee can work with the direct coordination with Bangladesh government and Bangladesh prominent businesses/private sector bodies.

At the end of the day, it is all about our beautiful country Bangladesh and a little payback from the real hearted and patriotic people. I would appreciate it very much if you would take the time to evaluate effort we are making at Ausbangla Tourism to promote our beautiful Bangladesh to Australia. We hope that day is not too far when a fellow Australian will come up to you and say “I have been to the longest beach in the world and it was truly amazing”.

Fuad Ahmed

Director: Ausbangla Tourism Pty Ltd



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